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drainage basin

the area drained by a river and all its tributaries.
Also called catchment area, drainage area.
Compare watershed (def 2).
1880-85, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for drainage basin
  • It represents, of course, the extent to which the general level of the surface of the river's drainage basin is annually lowered.
  • Every river is part of a network of watersheds that make up a river system's entire drainage basin.
  • Topographic maps were also used to delineate wetland and vegetation coverage, and drainage basin size.
  • The answer to this question is your watershed address, the drainage basin where you live.
British Dictionary definitions for drainage basin

drainage basin

another name for catchment area
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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drainage basin in Science
drainage basin
An area drained by a river system. A drainage basin includes all areas that gather precipitation water and direct it to a particular stream, stream system, lake, or other body of standing water.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for drainage basin

catchment area

area from which all precipitation flows to a single stream or set of streams. For example, the total area drained by the Mississippi River constitutes its drainage basin, whereas that part of the Mississippi River drained by the Ohio River is the Ohio's drainage basin. The boundary between drainage basins is a drainage divide: all the precipitation on opposite sides of a drainage divide will flow into different drainage basins.

Learn more about catchment area with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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